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Roman Abramovich spreads the love ten years after Chelsea takeover

Jose Mourinho says the players all appreciate the new relaxed atmosphere at the club
  • @jackpittbrooke

Jose Mourinho underlined his relationship with Roman Abramovich by revealing that the Chelsea owner came into the dressing room before today's game, for the first time in any of his five seasons at the club.

This summer was the 10th anniversary of Abramovich's takeover, commemorated with a special match-day programme including a rare public message from Mr Abramovich: "We have had a great decade together and the club could not have achieved it all without you. Thanks for your support, here's to many more years success."

Mourinho said: "I think you can see by the matchday programme, what Chelsea did in the last 10 years. I think it's great, especially for the players, to feel the atmosphere around."

"It's my fifth season I've started with Chelsea. We had Mr Abramovich in the dressing room with us – for the first time in those years – before the match, which means a lot to every group. It was a moment of wishing everyone the best, the medical department, the players not selected."

"So to have Mr Abramovich coming from his holiday to be with the team meant a lot to all of us. We are together and know where we want to go."

Chelsea will maintain their pursuit of a new striker in an "ethical way", Mourinho said. After having two bids for Wayne Rooney rejected by Manchester United, who look increasingly set against selling to Stamford Bridge, Mourinho confirmed Chelsea would continue to push for a new signing.

"We will try till the last day to add a new player to the squad, a striker," Mourinho said when asked about a third bid for Rooney. "But in this moment every striker has a club. Every striker belongs to somebody. And I don't think it's ethical I name players who belong to other clubs." Mourinho insisted that Chelsea's pursuit of a striker, whether Rooney or anyone else – with Samuel Eto'o a probable alternative now – would be done in the right way.

"Always in an ethical way. If we have to make a bid, we make it in an official way. We don't speak to players, but to clubs. We don't try to influence players to behave in a certain way, as other clubs do. We behave in the correct manner and we'll try for that until the last day of the transfer window."

While Mourinho was pleased with his team's start, he blamed this week's international friendlies for what he described as some players' second-half "disappearance".

"I've played so many times here and won many matches, but we've not had so many periods here like that quality," Mourinho said of their start. "When I saw the second half going in another direction, at the beginning I was frustrated because I want more. But after five minutes I thought we didn't because we couldn't. We can't play that way for 90 minutes. We had no energy, no physical energy and no mental availability to play that way."

"The three boys behind Fernando were fantastic. In the second half they disappeared. All of them played national team matches: Kevin [De Bruyne] 85 minutes v France, Oscar 80 minutes v Switzerland, Eden [Hazard] 80 minutes against France. When the creativity disappeared, we lost the danger in our game."

Hull's manager, Steve Bruce, said that his team were "a lot better" in the second half and that Chelsea were "incredible" for the first 25 minutes.

Bruce admitted that while he was not enthusiastic about the potential name change to "Hull City Tigers", it was within owner Assem Allam's rights to do it.

"I think the PR could have handled it a bit better," Bruce said after the game. "I'm a traditionalist. But the money our guy's put into Hull City, if he wants us to play in pink he's entitled to do it."